RWE cancels offshore wind project Atlantic Array

Tuesday, 3 December, 2013 - 08:30
The 1.2 GW wind farm Atlantic Array was supposed to be built in the Bristol Channel between England and Wales
Graphic: S&WE

RWE Innogy is pulling out of the planned Atlantic Array offshore wind farm. The technical challenges posed by the 1.2-GW project in the Bristol Channel between England and Wales were so large that the associated extra costs make the project uneconomical at the current time, the company reported.

By withdrawing from the project, they intend to free up resources to pursue other projects in Great Britain that are currently technically and economically feasible. The Crown Estate, which manages the property along the British coast, has accepted RWE's application for termination of the agreements.

The Crown Estate has allowed RWE Innogy to terminate its development activities in the zone. This means that RWE Innogy's access rights to the seabed are also terminated. Unfavourable seabed conditions and the great water depth were the reasons for RWE's withdrawal.

"This was not an easy decision, but given the technical difficulties and the market conditions it is currently not economically viable for RWE to continue with this project," Paul Cowling, Head of Offshore Wind at RWE Innogy, said.

Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind at The Crown Estate commented: "The offshore wind energy industry has made considerable progress in recent years. There is now a great deal more certainty about which factors make an offshore project successful. For this reason, we will see more changes in the UK market in the future. Paradoxically, this is a positive development because it creates clarity for the industry and focuses attention on high-value investment opportunities."

Katharina Garus